A dangerous wildfire, pushed by strong winds through dry grass and timber, continues to burn near Chiloquin.
Called the Two Four Two Fire, it grew quickly Monday night, pushed by fierce winds. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday it had grown to more than 6,000 acres with no containment.
Fire managers said they are still assessing structures that may have been lost. There were no known injuries or fatalities as of Tuesday evening.
A Level 3 Evacuation for Oregon Shores 1, north of Maidu Road, was issued Tuesday morning and most residents have evacuated.
There is a new Level 3 Evacuation for residents in the area north of the Road 422 and Highway 62 junction east of the Wood River, south of Crooked Creek between Wood River and the State Fish Hatchery. Residences, if not already evacuatedm should evacuate now.
On the north end of the fire, west of Highway 97 near mile post 243, there is active fire north of Spring Creek. Residents in this area near Spring Creek should evacuate.
The area south of Maidu Road, west of Highway 62, including Oregon Shores 2, is currently under a Level 2 Evacuation. This means residents should be prepared if there is a need for immediate evacuation.
Collier State Park and day use area was evacuated, as were residents to the west of the park and others in Woodland Park.
The logging museum at Collier State Park was saved, according to fire managers. Happy Trails Cowboy Campground in Chiloquin is believed destroyed.
Highway 97 remains closed. That closure now extends from its junction with Oregon State Highway 62 south of Chiloquin to Forest Road 9732 at Oux Kanee Overlook. State Highway 422 North is also closed, as well as Highway 62 between Highway 97 and Highway 422 North.
The fire was initially reported Monday near Williamson River Campground, according to information from the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership. It soon jumped Highway 97 and was burning on both sides of that roadway, moving south and southwest.
Those with evacuation questions should go to Kla-Mo-Ya Casino where the Red Cross has established a shelter. For those that are in need of stalls for animals, there are some available at the Klamath County Fairgrounds.
Emergency officials ask residents to avoid calling 911 unless in an emergency.
Chiloquin schools are closed through at least Wednesday, according to the Klamath County School District.
There are currently 24 engines, two handcrews, five dozers and multiple air resources including one lead plane, three single-engine airtankers, two scooper aircraft, one large helicopter and two Type 2 helicopters on the fire today. More resources are being ordered. Because of heat and smoke, the use of air resources has been limited.
When air resources are available, Klamath Lake is being used to scoop water. Boaters are advised to be aware of their surroundings and avoid areas where aircraft is operating over the water. Williamson River and Spring Creek are also being used for dip sites.
FEMA regional administrator Mike O’Hare determined that “the fire threatened to cause such destruction as would constitute a major disaster” and approved a federal fire assistance grant Monday night.
Power remains out in much of the fire-affected area, all the way up to Crater Lake National Park. Roads are closed there as well due to downed trees.
A red flag warning is in effect in the area Tuesday from 10 a.m. to midnight for strong gusty winds and low relative humidity.
Wildfire smoke will be in the area through at least Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Medford. They recommend to keep windows and doors closed, reduce time outside, avoid vigorous activity and stay hydrated.